Millions of species of fauna and flora can be found in forests around the globe. The benefits forests offer to go beyond wildlife. Forests play an important role in the carbon cycle of the world by helping to balance greenhouse gas emissions, make the atmosphere more breathable, and protect against climate change. The whole world suffers as more forests are cut by companies to make way for agriculture and other industries. Every year, deforestation impacts our environment and kills millions upon millions of animals.
Deforestation is a threat to ecosystems that are essential for wildlife and humans. The lush green forests provide a sanctuary for some of the most famous wild animals in the world, including the panda and the jaguar, as well as countless other species of vegetation. The importance of forests goes beyond that. Forests are vital for the survival of all life on Earth, far beyond their tree line.
But if humans continue to degrade forests at their current pace, forests could reach their breaking point. According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, humans, or more specifically corporations and industries, have converted 420 million hectares for other uses since 1990. This is more than 1 billion acres of forest that was cleared for strip mining, cattle grazing, and industrial sprawl. Animal agriculture is the most destructive industry in the world.
What is DEFORESTATION?
The mass removal of trees across a large area is called deforestation. This term is most commonly used to describe the clearing of trees by humans. However, natural processes like flooding and fire can also cause trees to be removed. Deforestation is most commonly used to clear land for farming or to gather timber from fallen trees.
No matter what causes deforestation it is the same result: the destruction of an ecosystem that once played an important role in the protection of our planet.
The link between factory farming pollution, deforestation
Each year, billions of animals are raised and killed in factory farms for human consumption. This process does more than harm animals; it also harms the planet.
Factory farms place thousands of animals in close quarters. These factories produce so much waste that they pollute the air, water, and land around them, creating widespread health problems for nearby residents. The negative effects of pollution from factory farms extend well beyond the immediate area.
Forests are a “carbon sink” that helps to protect against climate change. They absorb carbon dioxide and remove excess greenhouse gases from the atmosphere, turning it into oxygen. When too many greenhouse gases remain, the “greenhouse effect” is when they trap heat from the sun and raise global atmospheric temperatures. Scientists attribute most of the human-caused climate change to the greenhouse effect.
What are the causes of depression?
Deforestation is generally caused by human activity. Many industries use forested land to develop their products, such as paper, mining, and logging.
Meat producers use ecologically valuable forest habitats to graze livestock and grow animal feed like corn and soy to meet the demand for meat worldwide. According to the FAO, 40% of tropical deforestation was caused by large-scale commercial agriculture between 2000 and 2010. This is primarily due to animal agriculture.
Cattle ranching is the most heavily forested form of agriculture. To make room for cattle to graze, meat producers have cleared 45 million hectares (or 112 million acres) of lush forest. This is equivalent to 84 million football pitches.
Growing animal feed
Deforestation is greatly caused by soybean production. Some soybeans are processed by food companies into soy sauce and other products for humans, but the majority of soy production, around 75%, goes to feed farmed animals.
What are the EFFECTS of Deforestation?
Forests are not only home to millions upon millions of plant and animal species, but also capture greenhouse gas emissions that make the earth more livable. If humans damage forests to make a short-term economic gain, it can endanger our species’ long-term survival chances.
Human effects of deforestation
Humans can destroy forest habitats and animals and insects will seek refuge in villages near forests. Unnatural and dangerous contact between humans, wildlife, and animals can lead to animal migration. Because animals can transmit pathogens to humans, this is why it’s so dangerous. These pathogens can cause diseases known as a zoonotic disease.
Insecurity in food
For communities around forests, they provide clean water, food, and employment. The fertile soil is used to grow crops and harvest medicine from the trees. These communities are often left without the resources they need to grow food, which can lead to food insecurity.
Local people and their livelihoods
According to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, (IUCN), nearly 25% of the world’s population depends on forests for their livelihoods. This includes many of the poorest communities in the world.